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Alien: The Original Screenplay

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In 1976, Twentieth Century Fox bought a screenplay by Dan O'Bannon entitled Star Beast. Three years later with Ridley Scott at the helm, Alien was unleashed on unsuspecting filmgoers. En route to back to Earth, the crew of the starship Snark intercepts an alien transmission. Their investigation leads them to a desolate planetoid, a crashed alien spacecraft, and a pyramidic In 1976, Twentieth Century Fox bought a screenplay by Dan O'Bannon entitled Star Beast. Three years later with Ridley Scott at the helm, Alien was unleashed on unsuspecting filmgoers. En route to back to Earth, the crew of the starship Snark intercepts an alien transmission. Their investigation leads them to a desolate planetoid, a crashed alien spacecraft, and a pyramidic structure of unknown origin. Then the terror begins . . . Writer Cristiano Seixas and artist Guilherme Balbi have attempted to stay true to the characters, settings, and creatures described in O'Bannon's original screenplay--without replicating the famous designs of Ron Cobb, Moebius, and H.R. Giger. A new experience, but still terrifying! Collects Alien: The Original Screenplay issues #1-#5.


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In 1976, Twentieth Century Fox bought a screenplay by Dan O'Bannon entitled Star Beast. Three years later with Ridley Scott at the helm, Alien was unleashed on unsuspecting filmgoers. En route to back to Earth, the crew of the starship Snark intercepts an alien transmission. Their investigation leads them to a desolate planetoid, a crashed alien spacecraft, and a pyramidic In 1976, Twentieth Century Fox bought a screenplay by Dan O'Bannon entitled Star Beast. Three years later with Ridley Scott at the helm, Alien was unleashed on unsuspecting filmgoers. En route to back to Earth, the crew of the starship Snark intercepts an alien transmission. Their investigation leads them to a desolate planetoid, a crashed alien spacecraft, and a pyramidic structure of unknown origin. Then the terror begins . . . Writer Cristiano Seixas and artist Guilherme Balbi have attempted to stay true to the characters, settings, and creatures described in O'Bannon's original screenplay--without replicating the famous designs of Ron Cobb, Moebius, and H.R. Giger. A new experience, but still terrifying! Collects Alien: The Original Screenplay issues #1-#5.

30 review for Alien: The Original Screenplay

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    This is a really cool idea; to base a comic on Dan O'Bannon's original Alien screenplay before any rewrites of H.R. Giger's designs entered the picture. For the most part it follows the path of the shot movie with small differences. Alien is my favorite horror movie. That may have something to do with the fact I watched this at 7 years old from behind the couch when I was supposed to be in bed. I was terrified my parents would catch me in addition to being terrified by the movie. This lacks the This is a really cool idea; to base a comic on Dan O'Bannon's original Alien screenplay before any rewrites of H.R. Giger's designs entered the picture. For the most part it follows the path of the shot movie with small differences. Alien is my favorite horror movie. That may have something to do with the fact I watched this at 7 years old from behind the couch when I was supposed to be in bed. I was terrified my parents would catch me in addition to being terrified by the movie. This lacks the tension of the film. I think that has to do with the art. While technically, Balbi is a capable artist, I couldn't make heads or tails of the action sequences. They didn't flow together in a coherent manner. There was none of the panic or paranoia. Received a review copy from Dark Horse and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    Vote: ☆☆☆ 1/2 A solid comic-book adaption of late Dan O'Bannon's original screenplay before Walter Hill and David Giler edited it, a proto Alien ante litteram very similar to William Gibson's Alien III from Dark Horse. Not bad at all for an author debut, I enjoyed the artworks, and this was a cool original take on the classic storyline everybody knows and loves, with different characters (android Ash, one of best things in the 1979 movie wasn't in the script) and without the iconic xenomorph f Vote: ☆☆☆ 1/2 A solid comic-book adaption of late Dan O'Bannon's original screenplay before Walter Hill and David Giler edited it, a proto Alien ante litteram very similar to William Gibson's Alien III from Dark Horse. Not bad at all for an author debut, I enjoyed the artworks, and this was a cool original take on the classic storyline everybody knows and loves, with different characters (android Ash, one of best things in the 1979 movie wasn't in the script) and without the iconic xenomorph from artist H. R. Giger. An entertaining read, but the final product, who made me a sci-fi/horror fan since I watched it for the first time when I was a kid, is so far better thing in my opinion. that best parts of this adaption were for me the ones left in Ridley Scott's flick.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    I would say the original Alien is in my top five favourite films, and I've been avidly reading Dark Horse's Alien comics through the years. I do feel Dark Horse has let the franchise slip, especially in their output in the last couple of years, with writing that repeatedly seems to miss the point of the xenomorph. But this is something different. It's a new comic adaptation of Dan O'Bannon's original screenplay, before it was tightened up and rewritten considerably by David Giler and Walter Hill. I would say the original Alien is in my top five favourite films, and I've been avidly reading Dark Horse's Alien comics through the years. I do feel Dark Horse has let the franchise slip, especially in their output in the last couple of years, with writing that repeatedly seems to miss the point of the xenomorph. But this is something different. It's a new comic adaptation of Dan O'Bannon's original screenplay, before it was tightened up and rewritten considerably by David Giler and Walter Hill. This alone makes it a fascinating artifact, a "what could have been", so far as that is possible, of course. In the introduction to the book, Dark Horse's VP of Publishing Randy Stradley remarks how he would send artist Guilharme Balbi back to the drawing board when a design would resemble the film's design too much. At first I found myself constantly comparing the comic to the actual film, and for some reason there are little pops of joy when the dialogue is the same as in the film. And the comic is quite different, narratively. There is also a lot more visceral gore, where the film uses quick shots or keeps the violence off camera. I did find myself forgetting about the film after a while, and following the comic's story. I will say it's not nearly as suspenseful as the film, but that's an incredibly hard act to follow. The look of the xenomorph loses to Giger's design (but again: how could it not), but I was impressed by the new Navigator. Overall I think the art doesn't handle action scenes that well, I found them to be quite confusing. One interesting aspect of O'Bannon's screenplay, is that it takes the acidity of the xenomorph's blood much more seriously, where in the film it is noted and then sort of forgotten about - in the comic, again and again characters fret over how the blood will punch a hole in the ship, leading to decompression. The book is an interesting experiment, and that alone makes it a worthwhile read. 3.5 stars (Kindly received an ARC from Dark Horse Comics through Edelweiss)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I said it in my review of "William Gibson's Alien 3", I really like the concept of revisiting old scripts and re-imagining them as comics. This is very similar to "The Star Wars", the comic adaptation of an early script for Star Wars. The art in this book is very unlike the eventual film "Alien", as it was written long before Ridley Scott, Moebius or H. R. Giger got involved. It helps that all of the characters have different names too, so there's less direct comparisons with the final film. If yo I said it in my review of "William Gibson's Alien 3", I really like the concept of revisiting old scripts and re-imagining them as comics. This is very similar to "The Star Wars", the comic adaptation of an early script for Star Wars. The art in this book is very unlike the eventual film "Alien", as it was written long before Ridley Scott, Moebius or H. R. Giger got involved. It helps that all of the characters have different names too, so there's less direct comparisons with the final film. If you've seen "Alien" then this will all be quite familiar, the plot is mostly the same with some changes. The character names are different, although their charaterisation remains mostly intact. There is no Ash, the android. And the name of the starship is "Snark", presumably a reference to the poem written by Lewis Carroll; as opposed to the named used in the film: "Nostromo", presumably a reference to the novel by Joseph Conrad. The design of everything from the planet, the uniforms, starship and the alien itself are all quite different from the final film, so there's a novelty in reading this alternate universe version of "Star Beast". This isn't one of those cases where I dream of what might have been. The film is a masterpiece in science fiction horror and all elements come together beautifully. It is nice to see this as a first draft, as how with a few tweaks a good script can become an amazing film.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Davie Green

    I do think there is a lot of merit in making these “what could have been” books, especially something like the OG Star Wars book that Dark Horse put out a few years ago. Mostly it just shows how much collaboration on these projects brought out the best from the bones of the original idea and this is very much in that category. There isn’t really enough changes to feel like a new take (or old take I guess??) and for the most part it hits all the beats of the film but not as hard or as masterful. The I do think there is a lot of merit in making these “what could have been” books, especially something like the OG Star Wars book that Dark Horse put out a few years ago. Mostly it just shows how much collaboration on these projects brought out the best from the bones of the original idea and this is very much in that category. There isn’t really enough changes to feel like a new take (or old take I guess??) and for the most part it hits all the beats of the film but not as hard or as masterful. The artwork is lovely. Reading the foreword, I assumed the Alien would be really out there compared to the Scott version but it actually is a cross between that and something from one of the AVP games. I don’t think this is as memorable as something like the Star Wars book but enjoyable enough for an afternoon/morning read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    In the last few years, I have enjoyed reading articles and listening to podcasts regarding earlier drafts of movie scripts that would go on to be made into some of my favorite movies. It becomes the ultimate What If? The Alien: The Original Screenplay comic adaptation is a very interesting adaptation. The DNA that made it up on the screen is there, with much of the same story and even most of the characters (even if they have different names) with a few plot differences that changes in subsequen In the last few years, I have enjoyed reading articles and listening to podcasts regarding earlier drafts of movie scripts that would go on to be made into some of my favorite movies. It becomes the ultimate What If? The Alien: The Original Screenplay comic adaptation is a very interesting adaptation. The DNA that made it up on the screen is there, with much of the same story and even most of the characters (even if they have different names) with a few plot differences that changes in subsequent drafts of the screenplay. They tried and succeeded to make something different and not inspired by the designs that we all know and love. In the end it was an enjoyable read, well adapted and drawn but it felt a little too much like reading an old comic book adaptation where they only gave the writer and artist a tiny bit of info and let them go off and do their thing, for me to truly love it. (I received an digital ARC from Dark Horse Comics through Edelweiss)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    There really wasn't enough of a difference between the screenplay and the movie to make this interesting, and the art was bland and often incomprehensible, especially in the action sequences. A decent idea, but the execution was decidedly lacking. There really wasn't enough of a difference between the screenplay and the movie to make this interesting, and the art was bland and often incomprehensible, especially in the action sequences. A decent idea, but the execution was decidedly lacking.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mila Elizabeth

    2.75 stars So, I can give this work props for two things: first, the colors are pretty, really pretty, and I take no criticism in that regard, because I loved them; on the other hand, the redesigns for the alien and the chestbuster where very interesting, certainly far more bio than mechanic in comparison to Giger's ideas, still aiming for a gross/violent erotica, but in a more slimy direction, and the design of Poor Yorick was just lovely. Everything else? Eh, I just don't think this version need 2.75 stars So, I can give this work props for two things: first, the colors are pretty, really pretty, and I take no criticism in that regard, because I loved them; on the other hand, the redesigns for the alien and the chestbuster where very interesting, certainly far more bio than mechanic in comparison to Giger's ideas, still aiming for a gross/violent erotica, but in a more slimy direction, and the design of Poor Yorick was just lovely. Everything else? Eh, I just don't think this version needed an adaptation in any medium. Sure, it's pretty, but the only thing left out from the end result that was 1979's Alien was the Wayland-Yutani subplot, and the only things that were added were some expansions to the background of the alien lifeform (which has been and is being developed anyways) and more gore to the death scenes, but that's about it. And being entirely honest, the divergent backdrop of the alien is the only appealing one out of the two aspects, and that may be because I'm a sucker for the idea of inherently different, but also oddly similar in certain ways, sentient lifeforms to what we are. The deaths, however, were just plain, well, plain? There was no tension at all to the chestburster beat, and the remaining deaths are kind of shoddily done, feel near weightless, and in some cases come off, not only as some sort of shock value, but also like the actions in the panels are disconnected from one another. I don't think the characters need any in depth analysis. The characters of the film aren't stricly speaking the most depeloped examples in the history of horror (cinematic or otherwise), but they feel distinct and they convey genuine feelings. This being a piece framed in a different medium (and rather short, for that matter), a genuine comparison between both would be moot, but, boy, did it not translate well. And I don't know, maybe I'm just being picky and overly opinionated because Alien is one of my top three favorite movies of all time. Really, I've read much worse than this, and the colors are pretty, darn it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Edward Taylor

    Dan O'Bannon's original screenplay was a bit different than what was seen in theaters in 1979 with different names, places, and no androids (there was still a cat though) - Here we have the crew of the Snark setting down on a planetoid in relation to a distress signal of unknown origin and then it goes pear-shaped. The end result is the same but how we get there is a very different route. If you are a fan of the Alien universe, this is something you need to have on your shelf. Dan O'Bannon's original screenplay was a bit different than what was seen in theaters in 1979 with different names, places, and no androids (there was still a cat though) - Here we have the crew of the Snark setting down on a planetoid in relation to a distress signal of unknown origin and then it goes pear-shaped. The end result is the same but how we get there is a very different route. If you are a fan of the Alien universe, this is something you need to have on your shelf.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joey Nardinelli

    Been wanting to read this for a while and was hoping it wasn’t as bad as the adaptation of William Gibson’s Alien 3 (hooboy was the layout and art in that one a stinker). The art here is fine, though the creature design as interpreted from the script felt mostly uninspired. I liked that each character, while not at all fleshed out, felt distinct based on their look and profile. I think this will prove the most entertaining for anyone (crazy like me) who had watched Alien, the scenes from the Dir Been wanting to read this for a while and was hoping it wasn’t as bad as the adaptation of William Gibson’s Alien 3 (hooboy was the layout and art in that one a stinker). The art here is fine, though the creature design as interpreted from the script felt mostly uninspired. I liked that each character, while not at all fleshed out, felt distinct based on their look and profile. I think this will prove the most entertaining for anyone (crazy like me) who had watched Alien, the scenes from the Director’s Cut of the film, Prometheus, and then read the Alan Dean Foster novelization of Alien. It blends together aspects from all four (inclusion of pyramids, the ship design as insect-like the Snark/Nostromo lander, the scene in the food storage area, the accidental venting issue) in a way that isn’t necessarily better but does provide a slightly different vision of the story. I think when it’s all settled, the original theatrical cut of Alien stands supreme as the strongest iteration on this story, but this graphic novel interpretation remains a worth inclusion for those really obsessed with the growth and adaptation of O’Bannon’e original Star Beast script.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Blake

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It was pretty surprising to see how short this was, especially with original concept of the pyramid - I would have expected that to be explored a little more than it was. The artwork was pretty good and the dialogue was easy enough to follow. It was cool to see what direction the original Alien screenplay would have taken, and it was especially interesting to see how the face huggers deteriorated after they died. In terms of extra content there's really next to nothing, just the cover pages of a It was pretty surprising to see how short this was, especially with original concept of the pyramid - I would have expected that to be explored a little more than it was. The artwork was pretty good and the dialogue was easy enough to follow. It was cool to see what direction the original Alien screenplay would have taken, and it was especially interesting to see how the face huggers deteriorated after they died. In terms of extra content there's really next to nothing, just the cover pages of a few of the original issues and that's about it. I wouldn't pay full price for this, but if you see it on sale and you're an avid Alien fan it's a decent addition to a collection. Overall, it was too short; needs more depth and more supplemental material.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Wolf

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Okay, let’s get started. It’s important to note this graphic novel is an adaptation of the original screenplay of Alien. So if you’re looking for something brand new, this isn’t it. The concept of the alien in this novel has a flora feel about it (for some reason I think Poison Ivy), whereas the alien from the film Alien has a biomechanical appearance. If you recall, the phenotype of a xenomorph is dependent upon its host. So while this is a separate screenplay, the alien from the original scree Okay, let’s get started. It’s important to note this graphic novel is an adaptation of the original screenplay of Alien. So if you’re looking for something brand new, this isn’t it. The concept of the alien in this novel has a flora feel about it (for some reason I think Poison Ivy), whereas the alien from the film Alien has a biomechanical appearance. If you recall, the phenotype of a xenomorph is dependent upon its host. So while this is a separate screenplay, the alien from the original screenplay is still Alien. Now, as for the story, it’s pretty close to the film. However, instead of finding a fossilized Engineer in the adaptation, the crew finds a creature that exemplifies an Ent (Lord of the Rings nerd yo). And I feel it is the art work that gives this novel a reason to be read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bill Coffin

    This is a really neat idea, skillfully executed - an adaptation of Dan O'Bannon's original script for the movie that would become the 1979 sci-fi horror classic Alien, but before the rewrites and the designs of H.R. Giger and Ron Cobb. The result - crisply written by Cristiano Seixas and beautifully illustrated by Guilherme Balbi is a compelling story of spacers who pick up a very unwanted passenger while in deep space. But we also see the value brought to Alien's rewrites and final designs, too This is a really neat idea, skillfully executed - an adaptation of Dan O'Bannon's original script for the movie that would become the 1979 sci-fi horror classic Alien, but before the rewrites and the designs of H.R. Giger and Ron Cobb. The result - crisply written by Cristiano Seixas and beautifully illustrated by Guilherme Balbi is a compelling story of spacers who pick up a very unwanted passenger while in deep space. But we also see the value brought to Alien's rewrites and final designs, too. The final result is something that could never be a five-star story - we know what that already looks like - but a five-star effort to work with four-star material. Either way, this is a great book very much worth reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    From the perspective of a 30 yo that has never seen the film: meh. For starters, why the heck would the captain have chosen to board with the parasite in the first place? It just...makes no sense. Try to heal the guy in the other spaceship, eject the lifeboat and try in there, or just cut your losses and gtfo of there. The timeline also seemed a bit off with transmission times and arrival times, but what do I know? Points for cool art, the fact that there's a cat and the fact that at least the wom From the perspective of a 30 yo that has never seen the film: meh. For starters, why the heck would the captain have chosen to board with the parasite in the first place? It just...makes no sense. Try to heal the guy in the other spaceship, eject the lifeboat and try in there, or just cut your losses and gtfo of there. The timeline also seemed a bit off with transmission times and arrival times, but what do I know? Points for cool art, the fact that there's a cat and the fact that at least the woman that had common sense can now apparently afford an island.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rolando José Rodríguez De León

    This is a book for the followers of the Aliens series on paper, the art is very good, but the story is the same as the movie. Sadly it's not the same terror I experienced with the movie 40 or so years ago. I Also made a Spanish review here: https://pananime.com/LeAn/Entries/202... This is a book for the followers of the Aliens series on paper, the art is very good, but the story is the same as the movie. Sadly it's not the same terror I experienced with the movie 40 or so years ago. I Also made a Spanish review here: https://pananime.com/LeAn/Entries/202...

  16. 4 out of 5

    David

    This wasn't bad. Its pretty cool to see the small differences between the original screenplay and the final product we all know and love. You can also see some of the cool ideas that eventually made it into the underrated Prometheus. Wasn't entirely thrilled by the art, but it got the job done. This wasn't bad. Its pretty cool to see the small differences between the original screenplay and the final product we all know and love. You can also see some of the cool ideas that eventually made it into the underrated Prometheus. Wasn't entirely thrilled by the art, but it got the job done.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andreas Acevedo Dunlop Strom

    Interesting, but ultimately just proves what a fantastic job Scott, Giger, Moebius and the rest of the designers and writers did with the movie. The skeleton of the story is there, but it is so much better fleshed out in the movie.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex S

    Great read that reimagines the first Alien movie on the basis of the original script. Well written, easy to follow, and wholly enjoyable as a result. The only thing I’d ever wish for was for it to be longer.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vegan Jon

    It was really interesting to see the small changes. I won't list them here but the main visual difference is what it could have looked like without HR Giger. Nice artwork. Wish they'd kept the original title of "Star beast" or at least mentioned it in the introduction. It was really interesting to see the small changes. I won't list them here but the main visual difference is what it could have looked like without HR Giger. Nice artwork. Wish they'd kept the original title of "Star beast" or at least mentioned it in the introduction.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Interesting graphic novel take on the original screenplay for Alien. It differs from the popular movie in its characters and some plot details. Otherwise, the creative team has gone to great length to distance this version from the original designs that Ridley Scott used in the theatrical version.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carl Archambault

    I really loved this one. Great art and nice « new » version pf the story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dan Cox

    A great interpretation of the original screenplay with some really nice art design. Makes a classic feel new again.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Trevon McCullough

    This book looks Very interesting, I love reading outer-space type books.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    This was a fun way to read the original screenplay. The differences aren't huge but are fun in their own way. Check it out! This was a fun way to read the original screenplay. The differences aren't huge but are fun in their own way. Check it out!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Linton

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tuấn Khang

  27. 5 out of 5

    sQVe

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hew La France

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  30. 4 out of 5

    PsypherPunk

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